July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
This paper introduces an experiment-based course that is designed to impact the learning experience of engineering students through the increase of knowledge and skills associated with technical writing. It is well-established that technical writing is a significant component of engineering education as it relates to lifelong learning and professional responsibilities. This study analyzes student perceptions of the importance of technical writing skills and the effectiveness of the course in reinforcing the importance of these skills both in an educational and professional context. The course is centered on ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology) program outcomes such as the ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, the capability of developing and conducting appropriate experimentation, and analyzing and interpreting data. The course also supports the institution’s “writing intensive embedded experience” program requirement, which integrates major writing assignments in support of meeting technical objectives and allowing students a mechanism for receiving feedback through drafting and revising substantial written artifacts. To test the hypothesis that experiment-based technical writing leads to the reinforcement of the importance of such skills, an online survey was distributed to engineering students measuring their perceived importance at the beginning and end of the course. The perceived effectiveness for each experiment was quantitively measured through surveys responses evaluating a series of 5 independent experiments throughout the course. The researchers also compared the students perceived skills in technical writing (based on survey feedback) with the grade earned in the course, to determine if students adequately assessed their competency in various technical writing techniques.
Engineering educators can benefit from this study as it demonstrates an effective approach for emphasizing the importance of technical writing while increasing student engagement with the material through experiment-based instruction. As such, engineering educators can embed technical writing into all types of engineering coursework, thus better preparing students for their chosen engineering career path. Keywords: Educational opportunities, technical writing, engineering, skills, communication.
Ely, S. J., & Chen, J. E. (2021, July), Educational Opportunities for Technical Writing in Engineering Education Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37004
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